The Art of Engravings


The first real art I ever purchased were copperplate engravings popular during the 1700 & 1800's. I fell in love with their tattered neutral tones printed on textured linen & paper sheets. They were the posters of their time, copies of an original painting etched onto a soft metal plate and then painted with ink and printed for multiple copies - the mass market of the olden days. They were often historical, geographical or allegorical in subject matter, appeared in books and were affordably priced to adorn homes of the era - spreading discoveries of the day like National Geographic. I always thought that the engraver's work rivaled or surpassed that of the original as he or she was interpreting the original and recreating it in black, white and shadow carved into metal. I still seek out engravings in my art purchases as I not only appreciate the history & workmanship but love how an etching can provide neural relief and add depth to grouping of paintings in a composition. This week I'm in Kauai and appreciating the collection of the maritime engravings depicting the voyages of Captain James Cook and his exploration of the Pacific Islands. Art, travel, history, cultures... Interior Archaeology nirvana!

Tammy Randall WoodComment